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Herpetological Survey of the Trigrad - Yagodina Karst Region

Posted 9/9/2014

Trigrad - Yagodina Herpetofauna Survey

This herpetofauna survey investigated which species of reptiles and amphibians are present within the Trigrad-Yagodina Karst Region, a part of the Western Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains famous for its deep gorges and caves, and which is covered by extensive forest, scattered by meadows, stony pastures and river valleys. By means of active field surveys (area search) and oral communication with local people, this research studied which species of reptiles and amphibians are present in all different habitats of the study region, and identified their local distribution patterns within the Trigrad-Yagodina Karst Region. Within the study region, 16 species of herpetofauna were found including 4 species of lizard, 5 species of snake, 6 species of frogs and toads and 1 salamander. This low number of species, especially of reptiles, in comparison to the species richness of the whole of Bulgaria is probably due to the high altitude and location of the study region within the approximate centre of the Western Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains. Most species were found in the lower parts (river valleys) of the region and only one species was restricted to the higher mountain parts. The most abundant species were Common Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis), Eastern Green Lizard (Lacerta viridis), Common Toad (Bufo bufo), Marsh Frog (Pelophalyx ridibunda) and Yellow-bellied Toad (Bombina variegata).